Headaches

This information is not a definitive list but only a guide to possible causes of your pain which can be helped by your physiotherapist. There are a wide range of medical conditions that can cause your pain. An assessment by one of our physiotherapists will allow them to take a detailed history and perform a thorough examination to give a diagnosis. They can then treat you effectively or recommend a medical referral if it is required.

Headaches are common and there are many possible causes. Often they arise from referred pain from the neck or jaw. Headaches can also be a symptom of a wide range of medical conditions. Your physiotherapist will be able to determine when they first assess you whether your headache is from a medical condition or as a result of problem in your muscles, joints or nerves. When muscles are tight or in spasm there are spots within the muscle known as trigger points which when pressed are very tender and can also cause pain in other areas of the body. The majority of these trigger points are not a problem but if they become activated then pain is felt at that point and also in other areas of the body ie. the head.

Physiotherapists can use techniques such as massage and direct pressure to relieve these activated trigger points and stop the pain there and consequently relieve pain in other areas of the body ie. the head. If the headache is referred by a problem with the nerves or joints of the neck then specific techniques can used to cure the problem. Acupuncture and taping techniques can also be of help. If the problem is from your posture then your physiotherapist can teach you exercises to improve your posture and carry out an assessment of your workstation ie. improve your working posture.

Other possible causes

Your physiotherapist will take a detailed history of your symptoms and past medical history before performing a full physical examination. There are a number of other possible causes of your symptoms which are not appropriate for a physiotherapist to treat in any way or that need a medical opinion alongside physiotherapy treatment. In this case they will recommend you to your GP or an appropriate specialist doctor or specialist consultant. These possible causes include:

  • cardiovascular symptoms
  • respiratory (breathing) symptoms
  • gynaecological symptoms
  • urinary or genital symptoms
  • digestive symptoms
  • immune system symptoms
  • lymph system symptoms
  • hormonal symptoms
  • neurological symptoms
  • dermatological (skin) symptoms
  • medication side-effects
  • virus
  • infection
  • cancer
  • disease process
  • stress
  • allergies
  • psychological problem ie. depression, anxiety